Most of us experienced a pesky cough, a full-on cold or the dreaded flu at some point. Once influenza hits, all you want to do is feel better — but how do you accomplish that goal?
There are plenty of over-the-counter medications, but we explored some home remedies that may help you feel better along the way.
Who doesn't like a good cuppa, especially when it helps you feel better? Used throughout history to treat colds, infections and wounds, the use of Echinacea declined in popularity after the introduction of antibiotics — now leading to antibiotic resistance.
Making a comeback, this immune-booster is able to reduce the duration of the common cold. In a recent study, published in Current Therapeutic Research, Echinacea root was equally effective when compared to Tamiflu, a common over-the-counter drug used to treat flu-like symptoms
Active compounds, found in the flower and berries of this plant, are believed to help reduce swelling in the mucous membranes, all while offering anti-inflammatory, anti-influenza and antiviral properties. In one key study, published in the Journal of International Medical Research, researchers studied 60 patients who exhibited influenza symptoms for less than 48 hours.
Patient receiving 15 ml of elderberry syrup or a placebo, four times a day for 5 days, were relieved of their symptoms four days earlier on average. The researchers concluded that this natural remedy is an efficient, safe and cost-effective influenza treatment.
3. Drink Plenty of Liquid
You must drink plenty of water while you're ill, especially if you've developed a respiratory infection. Fluids not only ensure proper hydration and bodily function, but they also help thin mucous so it's easier to expel. More specifically, experts recommend that you drink hot water — and add immune-boosting additions, such as fresh ginger, honey, cinnamon and lemon.
4. Gargle with Salt Water
Speaking of water, gargling with salt lets you loosen mucous and remove harmful bacteria. This remedy is especially beneficial when you have a sore, scratchy throat. In one study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, gargling with salt water actually prevented upper respiratory tract infections. Combine ½ tsp of sea salt with 8-ounces of warm water — repeat as needed.
The next time influenza surfaces, be ready with natural remedies that promote the healing process. Focus on your symptoms and treat them accordingly. If you have achy muscles, for instance, soak in an Epsom bath with lemongrass and rosemary essential oil. Make sure you work with your body, which will encourage quicker recovery and more positive health overall.